But it's clear that our anti-advertising stance is at odds with the rest of our culture, where the act of selling out has lost all of its historic stigma, and every square inch of eye-catching real estate is covered with ads. So in an effort to get with the program -- while keeping WFMU-Proper a hype-free zone -- I am auctioning off the advertising rights on my dog Olive's Elizabethan Collar (a.k.a. an "e-collar" or lampshade). The proceeds from the auction will benefit WFMU and will come with all the station swag we're offering during our 2007 Fundraising Marathon. The auction page is here and it expires on Wednesday, March 14th at 11am EST.
Elizabethan Dog Collars represent uncharted advertising territory for the creative marketer. As I drag Olive through the streets of Hoboken and Jersey City, her e-collar bumping against every obstacle in her path, hundreds of people turn their heads to stare at my four-legged lampshade. The brothers sometimes ask "what kind of dog that is?" while the white collar crowd inquires politely "..medical.. or spiritual?" Some people, not realizing that Olive wears her e-collar for her own good, shout anti dog-abuse slogans at me as I walk by. But they all stare at her e-collar. Hundreds of eyeballs a day, thousands of ad-imprints per month, and that's not even counting the images of Olive that we will be posting here, or on the WFMU homepage.
It boggles the mind that advertisers have been ignoring the Elizabethan Dog Collar Space for this long. And while some unscrupulous dog owners may now install e-collars on perfectly healthy dogs just to capitalize on this new source of revenue, I can assure you that I have not done that. Olive is wearing her lampshade on the advice of our vet who has been caring for the unspeakable wound that the e-collar is meant to protect. Olive's medical problems began last Christmas when her anal sacs were abducted by aliens, and replaced with some other organism, but that is really a story for another day.